Following Jesus – Humble

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“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 This scripture tells us that we are not to worry and that we should seek God’s kingdom above all else. The reason we in the church worry so much is that we refuse to be broken. We don’t want to become humble and without letting God break us and becoming humble; we will always worry because we don’t trust God. We don’t see power in our lives because we are not broken. “The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him. He can bear to hear others praised and himself forgotten, because in God’s presence he has learned to say with Paul, “I am nothing.” When we become as Paul and are willing to say I am nothing, then we will be content in all that we do. There will be no worry. The only way we can maintain our humility is with the help of the Holy Spirit. Our prayers everyday should be Lord, keep me humble and make me more like you. Trusting that you will take care of all my needs

Following Jesus – God Chaser

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“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 This scripture tells us that in order to not worry we have a part in this process. Our part is seek the Kingdom of God. It says seek it above all else. We seek God more than worldly goods, more than money, more than pleasure, we seek Him more than anything in our life. Jesus must become number one in our life. We must become a God Chaser. We need to want God deep down in our soul. The blessing of being a God Chaser is that we don’t have to chase God long before He is chasing us. More than anything, God wants a relationship with us. This is the reason God sent His Son to die for our sins. To be a God Chaser, we need to allow God to change our view of Him. In other words, we need to let God be God. I have seen God do so many wonderful things and most of them have not been what I expected or the way I expected them to happen. I believe God likes to surprise us by doing things His way. Let’s let God out of the box so He can show us His wonderful love and grace. And Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” Everything turned on Moses being willing to turn aside – to interrupt his daily routine to pay attention to […]

Following Jesus – Trust

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“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 “The challenge to actually trust God forced me to deconstruct what I had spent my life constructing, to stop clutching what I was so afraid of losing, to question my personal investment in every word I had written or spoken about Jesus Christ and fearlessly to ask myself if I trusted Him.” (Brennan Manning) If we are to truly trust Jesus, we must deconstruct everything in our lives. When I was first called to the ministry, I had such faith and trust in Jesus. We moved to Colorado to attend Bible College without a doubt that this was what we must do. Over the years for some reason, I lost some of my trust in Jesus. I had more doubts about my trust. The first of the year God gave me this scripture, “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.” (Habakkuk 2:1) This has been a year of deconstruction. A year of listening to God and moving out in the direction He is leading. Everything in my life is not perfect, but I have more trust in Jesus than I did at the first of this year. If we worry, we are not trusting Jesus. “Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, though the sheep pens are […]

Following Jesus – Thanksgiving

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“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 If we are grateful for the gifts that God gives us, we will not worry. Everything that we have comes from God; our food, our clothes, the house we live in, our jobs, our health. These all come from the grace of God. He provides for us out of His love for us. Gratitude arises from the lived perception, evaluation, and acceptance of all of life as grace; as gifts from God that are undeserved and unearned. We thank God every morning for the day that He has given us and we continue with this thanksgiving of praise throughout the day. In our busyness we forget to thank God for all the many gifts that He gives us. We are too busy to live. I am retired but I am too busy. My surgery last month has slowed me down and made me realize that life is too short for all this busyness. I am so grateful that God meets our needs and we don’t even have to ask. He knows all about us and our needs. “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

Following Jesus – Sovereignty of God

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“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 If we look at the world that we live in today, we wonder who is in control. Is God in control or is Satan in control? It seems to me that the entire world has gone mad. I read and listen to the news and at times, I feel like I just don’t want to hear one more story of death and destruction. When I get down and things just don’t look good, I am reminded of the sovereignty of God. What does the sovereignty mean? It means that God is in control of the world. God is king of the world and that He created everything in the world. He has control of the all He created. He can calm the storms because He created the storms. “The sovereignty of the God of the scripture is absolute, irresistible, and infinite. When we say that God is sovereign, we affirm His right to govern the universe, which He has made for His glory, just as He pleases. We affirm that His right is the right of the Potter over the clay, that He may mold that clay into whatsoever form He chooses.” (A.W Pink) If we are going to be free from worry, we must realize that God is sovereign. “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you […]

Following Jesus – Control

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“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 Worry is what we do when we have doubts about what is going to happen. We worry about our health and are we going to be healthy. We worry if we are going to have a job. We worry about our children; how are they going to turn out as adults. We worry if we are going to have enough money to live on when we retire. I can tell you from experience, most things we worry about are going to turn out fine. Can you control most things that you worry about? I know that most things I worry about, I have no control over them anyway. I cannot control the outcome of my health. To some extend I can control my job, my children or my money. I have found that God knows it all and He is in control of it all. What does that mean? It means that God knows more than we know and that we have to give God control of our lives and let Him lead us in the right direction. What does it mean to give control to God? It means we are responsible adults and we should not do anything foolish. It means we pray about things in our life and allow God to control the results. “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t […]

Following Jesus – Worry

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“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 It takes faith not to worry. It take complete trust in Jesus Christ and His promise. At times in the world that we live in it is hard to have faith. Crowds gathered each week to hear the soul-stirring sermons of Joseph Parker, the famous pastor of London’s City Temple in the late nineteenth century. Then crisis hit him hard. His wife died. A heartbroken husband whose prayers had gone unanswered, he confessed publicly that for a week he even denied that God existed. Parker’s loss of faith was only temporary. From that experience he was able to become stronger in his faith in God. He testify, “I have touched the bottom and it is sound.” Our faith needs to realize that the bottom is sound because God has the bottom. This year has been a hard year for me. In April one of my best friends had heart surgery. He is still having problems and in the hospital. About that time I was told that I had prostate cancer. Then my brother was told that he had cancer. I lost my brother about the same time I had my surgery on my prostate. I can say with Joseph Parker that I have touched the bottom and it is sound. Today I can say that my faith in God is stronger than it has been in years. Why should I worry? God has it under control. “The fundamental fact of existence is that this […]

Following Jesus – Credibility

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“And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Matthew 12:36-37 The words we say are very important, but it is also important that our words have credibility. Credibility is speaking words that can be trusted. We live in a day when we have to have a written contract so that people will do what they say they will do. The words we speak should mean something. They should mean we can be trusted. I grew up in a day when a handshake and your word meant that you would do whatever you said. If we as followers of Jesus are not credible, we are a bad witness to the world for Jesus. “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.” (Matthew 5:33-37 MSG) The words that come out of our mouths should be true.

Following Jesus – Character

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“And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Matthew 12:36-37 Why are our words so important? The words we speak come from the thoughts that we have and our thoughts come from our character. Our character is being developed each day, with each decision and each action. We have a free will and we are responsible for the decisions that we make, therefore; we develop our character on what we do or say. How many careless words do we have to utter before it becomes a habit and a character trait. As follower of Jesus, our character is what the world is looking at and the words we say, tell the world about our character. Before I became a follower of Jesus; I had a dirty mouth. The words that came out of my mouth showed what kind of life I was living. I even had a problem with words coming out of my mouth that I really did not mean to say, they just came out. The reason for this was that careless words were a habit. “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Following Jesus – Sticks and Stones

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“And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Matthew 12:36-37 “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” What a lie, words do matter and words can hurt me. Words can hurt more than sticks and stones. The damage that comes from words can live with you for your entire life. In my book “Healing the Wounded Spirit,” I write about the blessing and one of the elements of the blessing is the spoken word. Our words are so important. We just don’t realize how much damage we cause by our words. I know that I have spoken before I thought and others have been hurt. These wounds are hard to heal. Words have incredible power, to build us up or tear us down emotionally. The problem we have in our world today is we never talk to each other or hear what the other is saying. We are too busy to just sit down and talk and really listen. To make changes in our society that we need to make, we need to slow down and speak words of encouragement and listen to others. Our words can be blessings or curses. “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” (James 1:19-20)